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August 19, 2011     Post-Gazette
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POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 19,2011 Page 13 Sanna ,4" 00Babb00onno iiiii iiii ii i,iiiii Last week, I was talking about the family travel- ing with Dad as he played the county fairs in the North- east. During August, we headed for the lake front cottage Dad had bought around 1954. My father de- cided to take most of August off from playing music and just enjoy family and friends. He and my mother occupied the bedroom, Nanna and Babbononno slept on the liv- ing room couch that opened into a bed and I slept on a similar convertible recliner located on the back porch. This was a typical extended Italian family, only exported to the foreign wilds of some- place called Maine. I was always the first one up in the morning. To work up an appetite, I would put on my bathing suit, head to our rowboat which was tied to the dock, paddle my way to the middle of the lake, jump overboard and swim back towing the rowboat be- hind me. I was a kid, imper- vious to the cool morning air and cold water of the lake. If I tried the same thing now, I would need an ambulance waiting for me at the dock. Mike and Nara Barca had lived on the lake during summers since WWII, and had made several friends both locals and summer people who owned lake-side cottages. As a result of us visiting with Mike and Nara many times before Dad bought the cottage, we had become friends with the same people. To the right of the Barca place was a cottage owned by Lionel Lemeux. Lal, as we called him, and his wife had three kids, the oldest boy, David, being my age. This meant that I had someone to hang out with as most of the other kids were either younger or a lot older than I. I learned from David that I was a city kid. We went hiking and exploring, things that were second nature to many Maine youngsters but not part of the upbringing of a kid from East Boston. The first time we went hiking overnight, we came across a bobcat that lived in a deserted gold mine that we wanted to explore. The ani- mal wasn't too happy about showing his accommoda- tions to two humans, and rather than confronting the animal head on, we camped out that first night, sleeping in the sleeping bags brought by my companion, David. I woke up in the middle of the by John Christoforo A Nostalgic Remembrance iiii night to find a squirrel sit- ting on my chest. I thought he was a messenger sent by the bobcat telling us to go home, but when I moved, he took off. Late that day, as we hiked back toward the lake, we came across bushes laden with wild blueberries. We filled whatever contain- ers we had with us, not to mention the hats we were wearing. Along the way, we found a wooden box and filled that too. We had enough wild blueberries to open up our own fruit stand, and when we had filled every container we had, we continued our trek back toward the lake. David knew a shortcut but added that it was through someone's fields. He didn't think the owner would mind, so to return by sundown, we took this shortcut. About three fourths the way across what David called a pasture, I sensed some- thing behind us. When I turned to look I discovered that we were being observed by a rather large bull that seemed to object to our pres- ence. My only comment was, "Oh gee," (I cleaned that one up) and began to run with David right behind me. About 50 yards in front of us was a 3 to 4 foot stone wall that separated this privately owned pasture from the rest of the woods. I made a bee line for the wall with the bull closing in as I ran. When I reached the wall, I did a swan dive over it and roiled on the ground. Fortu- nately, the bull stopped at the wall. David had veered off in another direction to avoid the bull who decided to stay on his side of the wall snort- ing threats at me not to come back. David had tried a swan dive over the wall several feet south of me and both of us were now wearing crushed blueber- ries on most of our clothing. We rescued about half of our find and brought it back to civilization. We explained our misguided journey to our parents who were all at Mike and Nara's. I could tell by the looks on their faces that they were all holding back laugh- ter to allow us to save face. The only plus to our misfor- tune were home-made blue- berry muffins that were baked for everyone the next morning. Nara's mother, a woman we all called "Ma Maskell," and Nanna looked at our clothing and planned the cleaning process that would rid our jackets, pants and -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST-- THE iiiii i i shirts of blue stains. From the porch, I could hear Babbononno relating his findings of our story to Mike and Dad, "Wadda you feed a deeze tu kidz, dey botha pazzo" (crazy). Well, we attempted to clean up as best we could. Know- ing we really hadn't eaten, Nara and my mother put out two place settings and filled the dishes with the leftovers from the dinner we missed. As David and I were wolfing down the food, proving we were starving, there was a knock at the door. It was company from Augusta, Maine's capital city which was only 12 miles away from Winthrop. The Andy family was introduced as relatives of the Lemeux fam- ily. Actually, Emil Andy was married to Lionel Lemeux's sister. The Lemeux people were French Canadian, but Emil Andy before he Angli- cized his name and moved to Maine, were Emilio Aiudi, from Connecticut. He and his wife, Irene, had four chil- dren en tow, three daugh- ters and one son. My family and I were introduced and I immediately fell in love with one of the Andy daughters. Her name was Judy. She was a year younger than I was. She was 13, I was 14. I im- mediately categorized her with the Hollywood stars that sparked my young libido, namely Theresa Brewer, Cyd Charese and Janet Leigh. Emil and my father hit it off right away. When he met Babbononno they spoke Ital- ian and had a drink together, but I wasn't paying attention to the older folks. I couldn't get my eyes off Judy Andy. As I got to know her, she invited her cousin, David, and me to drop by a sweet shop she patronized several evenings a week in Augusta. During the rest of that August, we hitchhiked our way to Maine's capital sev- eral evenings a week just so I could be near the new love in my life. The only way I can equate this entire scenario to you is by relat- ing it to the TV show, "Happy Days." David was like Richie Cunningham. There were other characters who might have been Ralph and Potsie. I had a DA haircut, side- burns, a black leather jacket and loved motor cycles. Guess which character I must have seemed like??? After a few nights of hitch- hiking, Babbononno said, "I tinka you go a Augusta, wadda to see dissa girla 'com'e se chiama,' whatza da name-a." My grandfather read me like a book. GOD BLESS AMERICA MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS 781-648-5678 The Socially Set (Continued from Page 9) Cathleen O'Shaughnessy, left, and her dog "Sox" (closest to the fence) get acquainted with Kate Shaw, seated in chair, and her four-legged friend "Benson" (front). (Photo courtesy of Mariellen Burns) two free outdoor concerts by Sierra Hull and Highway 111. The concerts take place on Thursday, September 1 at noon in Kendall Square, 300 Athenaeum Street, in Cambridge and later that day at 6:00 pm at the Insti- tute of Contemporary Art, Putnam Investment Plaza, I00 Northern Avenue, in Boston. Hull, 19, is a Berklee stu- dent and bluegrass mando- lin prodigy who signed to Rounder Records at age 13 and has performed with Alison Krauss and other top musicians. A native of Byrds- town, Tennessee, Sierra Hull became well known in blue- grass circles for her skill on guitar and mandolin at age 8, performing at the Grand Ole Opry with Alison Krauss when she was just 11. As a teen, she joined the Great High Mountain tour with Krauss, Ralph Stanley and others. At 16, she re- leased her debut album, "Se- crets," co-produced by Ron Block of Alison Krauss and Union Station. Her follow up, "Daybreak," was co-produced by Barry Bales. She is a recipient of Berklee's Presidential Schol- arship and has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and the National Prayer Breakfast. ....... "The Tanglewood Wine and Food Classic" takes place September 1-4, in various locations around the Tanglewood grounds. The culinary event will fea- ture a lecture on the art of making chocolate by Joshua Needleman, the nationally recognized owner of Choco- late Springs in Lenox; a cheese seminar presented by Vermont Butter and Cheese; a gala Wine Auc- tion Dinner orchestrated by Charles Antin, the auction- eer of Christie's wine de- partment, and featuring a gourmet meal prepared by Relais & Chateaux Grand Chef Christopher Brooks of Blantyre and Chef Damian Sansonetti of Bar Boulud; a Dim Sum Dinner with fine wine and champagne held at Pronto in Lenox; and a Wine Brunch at Seranak, featur- ing the cuisine of Chef Claudia Fitzgerald. Two Grand Tasting events will also showcase cuisine from Canyon Ranch, Church Street Cafe, Firefly, JD Gourmet, Boston Catering, Pronto, Alta Restaurant -- as well as exquisite sustain- able caviar from Little Perle and artisan cheeses from the Kerrygold Cheeses and Butters. Nearly 60 wines will be fea- tured during the festival, including glasses of the world-class Henriot Cham- pagne, Robert Parker-favor- ite Donelan Family Wines, Napa Valley cult wine from Palmaz Vineyards and sam- ples of Chateau d'Esclans, considered by many to be the greatest rose in the world. Wines from the ac- claimed Caymus Vineyards, Bouchard Pere & Fils, Hall Wines, J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines, Hess Collection and Peter Lehmann Wines will be featured as well. Guests are invited to pair these world-class wine and food .hagpenings with per- formances of the "2011 Tanglewood Jazz Festival." Ticket purchases to either Grand Tasting event come with a complimentary lawn ticket to the associated Jazz Festival concert. For more information, please visit www. tanglewoodwineandfood classic.com. Enjoy! (Be sure to visit Hilda Morrill's gardening website, www.bostongardens.com. In addition to events covered and reported by the columnist, "The Socially Set" is compiled from various other sources such as news and press re- leases, PRNewswire services, etc.)